Everyone knows a good fit is essential when matching a potential job candidate to the position he or she is being hired to fill.
Recent research from Robert Half Finance & Accounting reflects a continuing trend: Aside from poor performance, most failed hires are a result of a mismatched skill set.
“Hiring is hard enough, but it’s even harder when you have to do it twice,” Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half, said in a written statement. “Don’t impede your efforts by recycling old job descriptions. Develop a fresh overview for each opening, listing the skills required for candidates to be successful now and in the future.”
Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) finance executives surveyed cited mismatched skill sets as the No. 1 reason new hires failed, up two percentage points from a similar survey conducted five years ago.
Another 27 percent of respondents think unclear performance expectations is the top reason new employees don’t work out, followed by personality conflicts (20 percent) and failure to fit in with the firm’s culture (15 percent).
McDonald advises leaders to highlight their firm’s best qualities during the recruiting process.
“Promote why your business is a great place to work, emphasizing the organization’s mission, culture, and career growth opportunities,” he said. “This, combined with a compelling, relevant job description, will help attract top performers who fit the firm’s needs.”
Robert Half Finance & Accounting offers the following four tips to avoid making a bad hire:
1. Identify the must-haves. Make a list of essential skills and those that can be learned through training. While technical expertise can help candidates land the job, it’s their soft skills that ensure they’re a fit for the organization and enable them to take on greater responsibilities.
2. Don’t shortcut the reference check. Talk to candidates’ former managers to get a better sense of whether employees might do well at your firm. Ask about individuals’ work styles, strengths, and areas for improvement.
3. Get outside help. By tapping the extensive networks of a specialized recruiting firm, you gain access to a larger talent pool. A recruiter can help evaluate each job seeker based on the required skills and performance expectations, and accelerate the hiring process.
4. Act immediately. If you find a great candidate, move quickly and offer attractive compensation. Additional Robert Half research indicates that promising candidates lose interest when firms delay making a decision. Don’t prolong the process.